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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Do you compromise to get along with others?

December 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
(Revelation 3:1-3 (NIV))

Are your deeds complete in the sight of God?

Have you ever stopped to think about what Jesus was saying to the church at Sardis?

I recently saw something that made me take a look at this from a new perspective.

In essence, this fresh perspective can be summarized by a simple concept – Getting along with others!

On the surface, this sounds like a good idea, but what happens when you compromise your faith to get along with others? What happens when you compromise what God has instructed you to do in order to get along with others? My first reaction to this concept can be summarized by the bumper stickers that I am sure that we have all seen telling us to coexist with other religions.

This is where we, as the Body of Christ, must be extremely careful. There is a difference between coexisting and compromising. We are facing some very severe pressure today to coexist, but in reality, they are asking for us to compromise. To some, it may seem insignificant, but in the eyes of Jesus it is a major issue.

A good example of this compromise can be summarized by this passage.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 (NIV))

Do you believe that Jesus is the only way to the Father or do you believe that He is one of many ways? Do you believe that Jesus is the only way for everybody or do you believe that He may not be the way for some people?

John 14:6 clearly states that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus. If you have allowed a different teaching to influence your life, then you have compromised. If you believe that it is ok to follow the world and only turn to Jesus once a week, then you have compromised.

Following Jesus is a tough road to travel. There are many distractions along the way. There are many paths that look good in the eyes of the traveler, but are a compromise in the eyes of Jesus!

Don’t let the world distract you and don’t compromise what you know to be true!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where is your treasure?

July 20, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
(Luke 12:33-34 (NIV))

Now is a fantastic time to seriously take a look at what you are thankful for. What is the treasure that you hide in your heart? What single thing in your life would devastate you if it were suddenly taken away from you?

I know that these are hard questions. I look around at what I have and it is not my physical possessions. They will decay with time. It is not my work, for it is only a means by which God has blessed me to support myself and my family.

To me, my earthly treasures are my family – my parents, my wife and my children. I can’t imagine facing a single day without them. Even this treasure will fade. However, there is a treasure far greater than anything that this world has to offer. Through this treasure, my heart rejoices for I know that Jesus is that treasure. He is the hope. He is the salvation. Through Him, nothing the world sends my way will devastate me. I have the hope that only Jesus can bring. I have the hope of seeing my family.

I know that any time is a time of reflection upon the things that you have been blessed with. Don’t forget to take a look at all of your blessings and then thank the one who blessed you.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
(1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV))

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
(Psalm 100:4 (NIV))

Where is your treasure?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What good is the church if we condone sin?

April 22, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV))

I just saw something that made me wonder what is going on with people in this world!

To be more specific, what I saw makes me wonder if some churches even believe in the Gospel anymore.

I am certain that you are aware of the debate about homosexual marriage. Let’s take that one step further and completely stop focusing on sin in church! That is the very report that I just saw. A pastor has decided for himself that the church focuses too much on sin and salvation.

That is the very reason for the church!

The Body of Christ is called to be the church. We are to let people know about sin and God’s plan for salvation through the gift of His Son, Jesus. The job of the church is to preach the good news. How can we tell people that they can be saved from their sin if we don’t tell them about sin?

Jesus did not come to make everybody feel good about themselves. He did not come to bring social justice. He did not come to promise earthly prosperity to those who follow him. Jesus came into this world to live a sinless, perfect life. He came to offer himself up as the sinless, perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins. He died so that He could be resurrected and sit at the right hand of God, the Father.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

We must be aware of the false teachers. We must be aware of the lies from the enemy. We must be aware of the thief that has found his way into the pulpits. We must test everything that we hear against the Word of God. We cannot pick and choose what we believe and what we ignore.

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.
(Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Has the thief stolen too much from you?

January 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
(Ezekiel 18:21-23 (NIV))

God rejoices even when a person who has sinned his whole life repents and performs one righteous thing before death !

Don’t take this statement to mean that we can live our lives with little or no regard for righteousness and then turn to God right before we die. There is no guarantee of tomorrow. We may never get the opportunity to repent of all of the things that we do. It is true that some people have that opportunity, for they do not die a sudden death. However, Satan rejoices when he can cause one of us to miss out on salvation. We literally miss the mark that God has created for us and we miss out on the promises that He has given to us.

Too many people think of sin and salvation only as being able to have eternal life with God. They do not realize that God blesses now for our attempts at righteousness. These attempts show a desire to walk with Him. They show a desire to love as He loves. They show a desire to learn and mature. Righteousness is not an outward task, but rather it is an inward desire. It is a desire that drives us to seek after God’s own heart. When we seek after His heart, we put the sins of the world behind us. We turn to the One who created the world. We tell Him that we desire to be as He created us.

For those who repent upon their death bed, I know that God rejoices, but I also think that He is saddened because of all of the missed blessings that He desired to give them when they were alive.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

Has the thief stolen too much from you?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready to surrender your life for the testimony?

October 4, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

They overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
as to shrink from death.
(Revelation 12:11 (NIV))

It is often thought that those who call upon Jesus as their Lord and Savior are not supposed to love their life. This false belief is based on this passage from Revelation. It is often misquoted or misunderstood to mean that we should not love our life and fully embrace death.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

If Jesus came that we may have life to the full, then why should we not love our life? Life is a precious gift from God. It is to be loved.

What is in question is not whether we are to love the life that God has given us, but do we love God’s Word and His truth more? Will we be willing to lay down our life, which is a gift from God, for the ultimate gift from God? Can we see beyond our limited perspective and realize that God is capable of so much more than our individual lives? Can we understand the simple truth that God created us and has something far greater in store for us?

Jesus knew this. Jesus lived this.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:13 (NIV))

Do you know it? Are you ready to live it? Are you ready to surrender your life for the testimony?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Turn to Jesus for the peace that passes understanding

May 9, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

No matter how tired I may get in my physical body, Jesus will give my soul rest. No matter how tired I may get in my mind due to stress that the world sends my way, Jesus will give my soul rest. Once my soul is at rest, then the weariness of the mind and body will also be put to rest.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 (NIV))

We can’t have life to the full if we are weary and burdened. It is a matter of priorities.

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

If you turn to Jesus as your treasure, He will give you rest. He will take our burdens and help you make it through them. He will give you the strength and the hope to believe that things will get better. Even when you must face the burdens of this world, He will be with you. He will give you peace in the midst of the trouble.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

He will give you rest.

Are you still weary and burdened? Turn to Jesus for the peace that passes understanding.

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