Are you praying?

May 8, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV))

Did you know that yesterday was the National Day of Prayer?

Does it even matter to you?

There is so much that is wrong with society now. It breaks my heart to see things that go against what God has commanded. I honestly believe that people take great pleasure in finding ways to flaunt their favorite sin in ways that will get attention. It is as if they are deliberately telling God that they don’t care what He thinks. It even looks like they are trying to outdo each other with who and what is the most vile.

Things have been set in motion since the beginning of time that only God knows when they will reach the culmination. It appears that they are rapidly escalating. It wasn’t that long ago that everything that is now being flaunted in our faces wasn’t even mentioned at all. Now, common sense and any ideas of righteousness have all but died. We are seeing things happen that I would never have believed would happen in my lifetime.

To be honest, it scares me!

I am not scared for myself, for I know where I have placed my faith and I know how the story ends. I am scared for those who don’t know that they are caught in a terrible cycle of sin and death. I am scared for those who will realize too late that they have made an eternal mistake.

I see things every single day that make me saddened, that make me groan in agony. I try to put my feelings into prayers, but all that I can do is groan. I know that our heavenly Father understands the groans, but from a human perspective, I long to put things into words so that I can understand. I am sure that I am not alone in this desire.

I wonder how many of the prayers that have been lifted up on the National Day of Prayer were the groanings of the members of the Body of Christ? Can we agree to groan in the spirit continually so that the Lord will hear us continually?

pray continually;
(1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV))

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 6:18 (NIV))

If my people will pray!

Are you praying?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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By what nature do you live?

February 9, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live
(Romans 8:13 (NIV))

By what nature do you live?

Do you long for the things of the world and the physical pleasures that they temporarily bring? Are you enthralled by what the world has to offer even when it brings harmful consequences to those who pursue them?

Lust, fame, fortune and greed are but a few of the things that manifest themselves as the sinful nature. Are these worth dying for? Are these worth an eternal separation from God? They definitely are not of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
(Galatians 5:22-26 (NIV))

In other words, truly belonging to Jesus will crucify the sinful nature.

There is an old saying that you are what you eat. This is also true at the spiritual level. Perhaps another way to say this is garbage in, garbage out. What you put into your heart will be reflected in your life by what comes out. The sinful nature brings death.

Jesus brings life!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Focus on the ultimate power and authority

October 31, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

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))

No matter what the world throws at us, we have to focus on the ultimate power and authority that will eventually claim His own and then the world for Himself. We cannot be swayed by powers of this world, for they are fleeting.

A person’s life has been compared to a blade of grass. We are here for a short time, and then the world remembers us no more. With this kind of certainty in the physical world, we need to place our hope and faith in something that has better lasting potential than a blade of grass.

No matter how the world is going in your opinion, remember that God IS in control, and all powers of this earth have been put here for a reason. We do not know the exact details, but we can pray that God will be in control of us as well.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you free indeed?

July 3, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:12-18 (NIV))

With all that is going on in the world, too many people turn to worldly things to try to find freedom.

Some turn to the government. Some turn to money. Some turn to fame. Still, others turn to themselves.

No matter where you turn, true freedom can only be found in one source – Jesus Christ!

Even the very best version of freedom that the world has to offer will eventually result in the ultimate imprisonment – death! All that the world has to offer cannot provide a freedom from death. The world can provide a sense of freedom during your lifetime, but it cannot provide an escape from death.

What do you think of when you think of the definition of the word freedom?

For most people, the definition can be stated simply as the ability to make your own choices and determine your own direction.

Do we have this in this world? Do we truly have the option to determine our own direction?

Most people apply this concept to such things as jobs, an unobstructed mobility within the world, and even to the lifestyle that they choose to live. In a sense, that is a form of freedom, but this freedom without the freedom offered through Jesus is nothing more than a false hope. Physical freedoms without the spiritual freedom that can only come through accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior is a false hope. Adam and Eve, through the fall from grace, had the freedom to choose. The freedom that they chose has actually enslaved humanity to sin since the fall.

Is that the freedom that you want?

True freedom can only come through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Accept the gift of grace that was freely given so that you could be free.

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

Are you free indeed?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What does God think of this?

March 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
(Jude 1:17-19 (NIV))

What do you think of the people who say that anything is ok as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone?

What do you think of those who say that anything is ok between consenting adults?

What do you think of those who claim that God is love and that He wouldn’t condemn someone for following their heart?

Does this sound anything like the scoffers who follow their own ungodly desires?

I venture to say that in my lifetime, there has been a significant increase in those who follow this philosophy.

What does God think of this?

You have wearied the LORD with your words.
“How have we wearied him?” you ask.
By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”
(Malachi 2:17 (NIV))

God does not call evil good under any circumstances. He has not changed His opinion on the Ten Commandments. Why should we?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready, willing and able to let the living waters flow?

August 9, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
(John 7:37-39 (NIV))

We have the advantage of being on this side of history were we have the benefit of knowing what has happened since the Spirit has been given. The only problem is that far too few people believe in the Spirit and fewer still who have asked the Holy Spirit into their lives.

Asking Jesus into your heart to be your Lord and Savior is only part of God’s plan. Believing in Jesus will earn you salvation. Asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit will get you much more. The Holy Spirit will guide you. He will give you insight and Godly wisdom. He will give you courage to take you faith to the highest level. Through the Holy Spirit, God will bless you so that you can be a blessing to others. You will learn that your blessings are measured in the rewards that you receive by blessing others. The Holy Spirit will teach you how to reach others for Jesus. He will be your constant companion through all aspects of your life.

The Holy Spirit will pour out living water through your life into the lives of those whom you see. You will become a fountain of God’s grace and mercy.

Are you ready, willing and able to let the living waters flow?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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