We are to be faithful and diligent until the appointed time!

January 17, 2023

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
    it speaks of the end
    and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
    it will certainly come
    and will not delay.
(Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV))

Are you tired of waiting?

If you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then there are several things that you know will happen because we have been told that they would happen. Still, waiting is never easy, especially when you see the things that are happening in this world, and you know that the only hope that this world has is Jesus!

If you were taken in the rapture at this very moment, would you be upset? Are there things in this world that you don’t want to let go of? Take a good look at your priorities and be completely honest with yourself when you answer.

Most believers long to be with Jesus., yet, we are torn. We desire to be with Jesus in the presence of the Father, yet, we all have someone whom we love who has not come to the saving knowledge of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. For this, I am willing to wait. For this, I am praying for friends and family to repent and come to salvation through Jesus.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9 (NIV))

I realize that I am being selfish when I long for the appointed time. I am guilty of seeing this promise through the eyes of someone who has already accepted their salvation. I need to open my eyes and see this as Jesus sees it. I need to realize that the Father does not wish for any to perish. If that is the Father’s wish, then it must be mine as well.

Still, there is coming a time, an appointed time, that will not delay. We must be prepared for that time as it rapidly approaches. We must also be diligent in our assignment, for we have not been given a reprieve.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV))

We are to continue to make disciples. We are to continue baptizing. We are to continuing teaching.

We are to be faithful and diligent until the appointed time!

Copyright 1998 – 2023 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you been redeemed?

December 13, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
(Galatians 4:4-5 (ESV))

In just a few days, we will experience what believers in Jesus have set aside as the day to celebrate the fullness of time! We will celebrate the promise fulfilled of God sending us His Son to redeem us from the bondage of sin and death. Ever since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden, humanity has been helpless, hopeless and lost. We were condemned to eternal separation from the One who created us to be in relationship with Him.

But, God . . .

I love the “But, God” moments!

He sent Jesus to redeem us. He sent Jesus to free us. He sent Jesus to show us His love.

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))

This is why we celebrate Christmas. This is why we have faith. This is why we are no longer helpless, hopeless and lost. Because God saw that the fullness of time had come, all who call upon the name of Jesus are now joyful, hopeful and found in the loving arms of the Father. This gift is for all who will believe. It is as simple as ABC.

A is for admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior.

B is for believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

God’s fullness of time means that we have been given the greatest gift of all. We have been given grace. We have been given mercy. We have been given salvation!

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))

Have you received the greatest gift of all time?

Have you been redeemed?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Our faith in waiting will bring tremendous joy!

June 29, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
     it speaks of the end
     and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
     it will certainly come
     and will not delay.
(Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV))

Are you anxious for the Lord to reveal Himself and set everything right?

To be honest with you, believers have been longing for His return since the very day that He ascended into the clouds. The appointed time had not come and it is still not here. With all that is transpiring in the world at this time, many people believe that the appointed time could happen very soon. Some believe that it could happen by the time that the season changes to Fall.

Before Jesus walked this earth, prophets were giving us a glimpse into the mind of God. They relayed a message from God to those who long for His return because the Lord knows that we are an impatient creation. He reassured us that it will happen and that we are called to wait.

I don’t like to wait!

Does that sound familiar? Are you like this as well? We want what we want and we want it now! Does that sound fair to all whom the Lord wants to bring to salvation before He returns?

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9 (NIV))

I have been writing for almost twenty-five years that I believe that His appointed time is drawing close. I know that sounds like a long time, but we have to remember that God’s timing is much different from ours. With what we are now seeing all around the world, even the most cautious and conservative Biblical scholars are saying that we need to keep our eyes focused on Jesus because all of the signs point to His soon return. Each day reveals more and more that we need to recognize as steps to the ultimate revelation at His appointed time.

Our faith in waiting will bring tremendous joy!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Wait for it!

June 29, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
(Habakkuk 2:3 (NIV))

Do you await the appointed time?

Sadly, too many people who profess a faith in Jesus only look to Him as their assurance of eternal life once they die, but what about all of the other aspects of Jesus? What about the promise to return for His church? What about the promise to return as a mighty warrior who will defeat Satan and cast him into the Abyss for one thousand years? I know that I summarized all of these events, but we need to realize that Jesus is more than a get out of hell card that we can play if we profess a faith and belief in Him. I know that my wording may make some people question my understanding of Jesus as our Lord and Savior, but we have to look beyond our personal desires and look at what Jesus actually came to do.

Jesus came to bring salvation by living the perfect, sinless life that we are not capable of living. Every single human who has ever lived has been cursed with the results of the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden. Jesus came to offer each of us a way out of the results of that sin by willingly paying the price that our sin merits. Jesus came to give us a gift! Jesus came to defeat death!

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

Human nature has made too many people stop there.

Not only did Jesus come to offer us salvation by exchanging our sin for His righteousness as He suffered the death that was meant for us, He also came to defeat and bind the devil so that the father of lies could not deceive anyone else. Jesus came to restore the perfect creation that God had planned.

We like to think of Jesus as a baby, as a teacher, preacher and a miracle worker. We also think of Jesus as crucified, resurrected and ascended to the Father. We also think of spending eternity in heaven with Jesus, but we have a hard time with the righteous warrior aspects of Jesus. We don’t like to think about the state of the world that will trigger His return for His church. We don’t like to think of the wrath that will be poured out on the earth because humanity has gone too far and God’s appointed time has come.

Does this frighten you, or, does it make you look up in hopeful anticipation of His return? It is a matter of perspective. If you look at His return through the eyes of one who has accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, the prospect of His soon return should excite you. If you look at His return through the eyes of one who has rejected Jesus, it is not too late to change your mind. It is as easy as ABC.

A is for admit that you are a sinner in need of a savior.

B is for believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and that God raised Him from the dead.

C is for call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

Once you do that, I pray that you don’t stop there. Embrace Jesus in all aspects of His glory. Do not fear Jesus as the righteous warrior. Wait for the appointed time.

Wait for it!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you believe that it’s time to look up?

September 10, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.
(John 14:29 (NIV))

Have you ever been tempted to say, “I told you so”? Have you ever actually said it?

That is a human trait that is based on ego and pride. We want to let people know that we are right and if they would have only listened to us in the beginning, things would have turned out differently. What is it about human nature that makes us believe that we should always be on top? Does it have anything to do with our desire to overcome the fall from grace? Is it something inherited that tells us that everything is our fault and unless we point the proverbial finger and blame others, we are no better than the sin we are trapped in? We like to blame others and in the process, we tend to elevate ourselves so that we look like the good guy.

Jesus isn’t telling us “I told you so!” He isn’t providing information in hindsight for us to analyze and argue about. Jesus is telling us specifically what will happen. In fact, He told us about two thousand years ago what would unfold. He told us so that we could be on the lookout for these events and recognize them when they do begin to unfold.

Are you recognizing anything?

With all of the events in the world right now, many people believe that they recognize events unfolding just as we have been told. They, and I, see things that are escalating and getting more intense just as the birth pains that we are told about for comparison. The human mind focuses on it’s immediate surroundings and usually only is concerned with events that impact us directly. We have a tendency to quickly forget or even ignore events that don’t impact us. Perhaps we should open our eyes and look beyond our own little circle of life in this world. What will we see? Will we know enough about God’s plans as recorded in God’s Word to recognize what we see? Will we know how to respond?

When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
(Luke 21:28 (NIV))

God has a time table that only He knows the exact days on which things will transpire. We are told that only He knows the exact hour and day, but that we can recognize the season.

Do you believe that it’s time to look up?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you claim to be wise?

September 2, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
(Proverbs 3:7 (NIV))

Do you see any wisdom in the world?

Based on this passage, perhaps I should rephrase that question.

Do you see people shunning evil and fearing the Lord, or are they more interested in mocking and ridiculing the Lord and anyone who seeks to follow Him? Are these people trying to claim that they are wise? Contrary to what they may think, the Lord doesn’t agree.

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

The present state of the world reminds me of the parable of the wheat and the tares. The bad seed that produces the tares are those who do not fear the Lord. They are doing all that they can to disrupt God’s plans. We have known that this time would come. We have known what the people would be like who do not fear the Lord. They claim to be wise in their own eyes. They feel a false sense of self-worth. They feel that only they are right and anyone who doesn’t agree is an enemy.

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—
(2 Timothy 3:1-4 (NIV))

As members of the Body of Christ, we must pray that we not fall into the traps that the enemy has set. We must fear the Lord and shun all evil. We must not think that we are more than we are – filthy rags.

Do you claim to be wise?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do you love this world?

August 26, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.
(1 John 2:15 (NIV))

The way that things are at this moment in time, I am pretty sure that most people will easily be able to say that they do not love the world.

What was your outlook last year? Did you love the world then? If everything suddenly became exactly as you long for, what would your outlook be? Would you love the world then?

Even in the very best of times, we still live in a sinful, fallen world. No matter what you may like in this world, it will fade, rust or die. Even the very best of friends will betray you. Thankfully, we are promised an eternal home that is so much better. It is so far beyond our ability to understand how good it will be. What we have in this world is as we are, filthy rags. We can trade our filthy rags for God’s perfection. We should desire to cast off the rags and leave them behind, for what we will receive is eternal grace, beauty, and peace in God’s presence.

Think about that for a moment.

We will no longer be confronted with wars, hatred, sin, riots, hunger, sickness and death. I realize that in the midst of all of this, we do have fleeting glimpses of beauty, love and peace, but they soon vanish. Why do we claim to love a place that seems to cause so much pain, when we can claim an eternal home free from all pain and suffering? All that we have to do is look beyond this world and acknowledge Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. He alone can change our eternity. He alone can fulfill the promises. The things of this world are fleeting. Don’t cling to what will fade!

Do you love this world?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you practicing what you have learned?

August 17, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
(Philippians 4:9 (NIV))

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that is the case, do you flatter Jesus?

When Paul wrote his letter to the church at ‭‭Philippi, he was encouraging the believers there to take what they have learned from him about Jesus and put it into practice. In other words, he was encouraging them to imitate Jesus by following His teachings. Two thousand years later, that is still the very best advise that anyone can give.

How are you living up to imitating Jesus in all that you do?

It isn’t easy, is it?

No matter how sincere we may be in our desires, human nature keeps getting in the way. Our sinful nature keeps raising its ugly head and we soon find ourselves doing things that we truly wish that we could avoid. Perhaps we need to truly take a lesson from Jesus and pay attention to how much time that He spent in prayer with the Father. I would venture to say that if we start practicing this lesson more often, the other things that we are called to imitate would be so much easier to actually imitate. Spending time in honest, heartfelt communication with the Lord will lead to a stronger relationship, and a better understanding of and a stronger desire to be like Jesus!

There is only so much that we can learn if we don’t start practicing what we have learned. Obedience is critical. Obedience means doing what Jesus instructs us to do. Obedience means putting away our sinful nature and following Jesus. Obedience means that we imitate Jesus by putting into practice what we have learned.

Are you practicing what you have learned?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Where do you find your heart?

August 14, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

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

With everything that is going on in the world right now, I have a question for you that will help determine your true treasure.

Do you long for the way things were last year this time, or do you long for Jesus?

Take a look back at this same time last year. I will admit that things were not as stressful and unusual then as they are now. Still, they were far from perfect. In fact, if you look back over the last several years, you will see that things have not gotten any better. The political landscape has changed in the last few years, and is focused on following Biblical principles, but it is also evident that the opposition to this change is doing all in its power to bring down anything related to God’s Word as well as anyone who supports it.

It is possible to become so overwhelmed by the ever increasing troubles in this world that we fail to see that God is moving in and through all of the troubles. Is your heart burdened and fearful? If you think about this in relationship to where your heart is, then it is easy to come to the conclusion that it is possible for us to treasure the pain of this world. Have we become addicted to the point that we sit waiting for the next new information on the latest troubles in this world?

Where’s the peace when we worry? Where’s the faith when we worry? Where is our treasure when we worry?

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:34 (NIV))

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

“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))

I have a favor to ask of everyone. It’s really quite simple. The next time that your heart becomes heavy because of the world, lift your eyes to heaven and remember that God is still on the throne. He is still in charge. Look to your eternal treasure and stay focused on Jesus!

Where do you find your heart?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you truly prepared?

August 10, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
(1 Peter 3:15 (NIV))

Can you truly say that you have placed your hope in Jesus?

Can you explain why you answered as you did?

Two simple questions, but do they have simple answers? Hopefully, you can say a resounding “Yes” to the first question. This question is the most important for you, for it determines your salvation status with God. God sees your heart and He knows if this is true. He also knows your reasons without you having to put them into words. But, that does not mean that we are off the hook when it comes to being able to explain why we answered as we did to the first question!

Think about that. If God knows our heart, then who are we giving an answer to?

If you read the passage again, you see that we are to be prepared to give an answer to everyone. In essence, our answer is our testimony. It is our witness. It is the story of how the Lord has saved us told in such a way that it draws others to Jesus!

We are to share the Gospel. We are to share Jesus in such a way that it is personal, after all, Jesus doesn’t save us by nation, or by state, or by city. He saves us individually, one heart and one life at a time. We must be prepared to share Jesus in such a way that others can understand what He has done for us, He can do similar for them.

Are you truly prepared?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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