Are you confident of your rescue?

January 30, 2018

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
(2 Timothy 4:18 (NIV))

When Paul wrote these words to Timothy, he had already been through many trials for his work in spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles. Even in the midst of the troubles that he faced, he was confident that he was in good hands. In all of his travels, Paul faced being run out of town. He had been thrown in jail. He had been beaten and stoned. He had been shipwrecked. He faced starvation and would eventually be thrown in a Roman prison. It was from this prison that Paul reached out to Timothy. His words speak of the faith that was used to reach the Gentiles with the Gospel.

I want you to put yourself into Paul’s situation as he sat in the Roman prison.

How would you feel, how would your attitude hold up if you spent what many believe to have been two years locked away in a dungeon? It is believed that where Paul was kept was simply a cold, dark room under the main building. The only access into this room was to be lowered by rope through a hole. Even the Roman guards had to enter and exit in this manner. Would you be able to express the faith that Paul displayed? Would you be able to hold onto the promise that the Lord would rescue you from every evil attack?

Far too many people hold fast to the promise that these words contain, yet when they are faced with any hardship, they quickly lose all faith.

Would we be reading the letters that Paul wrote if he had decided to throw a pity party for himself? What if the letters that he wrote had been self reflections and full of “Why did this happen to me?” Paul was confident in his faith. Paul was an excellent example of faith under pressure. He knew that no matter what the enemy may send his way, the Lord would rescue him and bring him into his heavenly kingdom.

Perhaps you are going through trials in your life. Is you faith strong enough to face what Paul faced?

Are you confident of your rescue?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you willing to suffer for your faith?

October 30, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
(2 Timothy 1:12 (NIV))

When Paul wrote these words to Timothy, it is understood that he wrote them from prison in Rome. Even in the midst of being in prison, he had the strength of faith to reach out to assure Timothy and others that he stood firm in his faith. Paul knew beyond any doubt that his belief in Jesus was true. All you have to do is remember his Damascus Road experience to understand Paul’s strength of faith.

Even though Paul was strong in his faith, there is one statement in this passage that made me stop and reflect on my own attitude. It made me think about human nature and how any of us would react if we were put in prison. Most would feel ridicule, regret and shame. Now, how would you feel if you were thrown in prison for doing what you know is right? Does that sound like it is highly improbable? Take a look at Paul. Take a look at certain countries around the world where professing a faith in Jesus is either a prison sentence or a death sentence. Do you believe that this type of thing could not possibly happen to you?

We don’t know what is in store for us in the future.

We do know who holds our future!

The world may throw things at us that are unexpected. The enemy definitely will attack us with things that are unexpected. Professing a faith in Jesus is not a guaranteed life without hardships.

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))

Paul may not have recorded the words that Jesus spoke, but he definitely believed them and lived by them. Relying on your faith in Jesus is not something that we should ever be ashamed of. A true faith means that we are convinced that Jesus is with us even in the midst of suffering. A true faith recognizes this and is willing to deny the world even when it means suffering.

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I am not implying that we must suffer to prove our faith. What I am saying is that there may come a day when we are called to reject Jesus or suffer. If this day ever comes, I pray that all who currently call upon the name of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will stand firm in their faith.

Are you willing to suffer for your faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you fight the good fight?

December 2, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time–God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
(1 Timothy 6:11-16 (NIV))

When Paul wrote these words to Timothy, he wrote encouragement to a young friend and brother in Christ. He knew that Timothy would face, and probably already was facing, struggles from those whom he was ministering to.

The worldly system is a big stumbling block for many. Greed, lust, envy, anger, and temptation are difficult to see beyond at certain times. Paul wrote to Timothy, expressing Godly principles on how to stay focused on the paths of righteousness and on Jesus Christ. Through all things, stay focused on Jesus Christ and God the Father, for there is none who is worthy of praise, honor and glory above them. No other can offer salvation, mercy and grace wrapped in the present of eternal life with them. Do not let the world detour your faith.

As Paul so aptly states it, “Fight the good fight of the faith!”

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What is your desire?

June 30, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 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 3:12-17 (NIV))

Many people believe that Jesus promised a life of ease if you accept Him as your Lord and Savior. It is true in heaven, but it is not true in this world.

Paul, in his letter to Timothy, stated clearly that those who seek after God will be persecuted. Today, many preach that God wants to prosper believers, but they do not preach the fact that Satan wishes to crush believers.

All will be persecuted at some time in their lives. What we, as believers, must remember is that we are to be an example of God’s grace and mercy even during times of persecution. The sign of a true believer will be the way that we handle the persecution that is to come.

Stay in God’s Word so that you may be strong in the faith for when those times come. Paul is an excellent example of strong faith and great persecution. He was stoned, beaten, shipwrecked and left for dead on many occasions.

I do not know what persecutions that each of us may face, but I do know that Jesus said that in this world we would have troubles. Jesus always spoke the truth, no matter how harsh it may sound. Paul spoke what he had learned from studying and his desire to know Jesus more.

What is your desire?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are we guilty of following these ideas?

March 28, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith. Grace be with you all.
(1 Timothy 6:20`-21 (NIV))

Just what are the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge?

Are we guilty of following these ideas?

How can we recognize these ideas that are falsely called knowledge?

I don’t often look at the Amplified Bible, but the added notes and words make a lot of sense.

O Timothy, guard and keep the deposit entrusted [to you]! Turn away from the irreverent babble and godless chatter, with the vain and empty and worldly phrases, and the subtleties and the contradictions in what is falsely called knowledge and spiritual illumination. [For] by making such profession some have erred (missed the mark) as regards the faith. Grace (divine favor and blessing) be with you all! Amen (so be it). (1 Timothy 6:20, 21 AMP)

Do you see the wording used in this version?

Subtleties and contradictions are the key issues. Satan is the father of lies. What better lie to tell than one that sound almost true. A lie that has just enough wrong that it is not blatant. It is not obvious. Soon, everyone thinks the subtle lie is the truth, and then it is time for the enemy to introduce another subtle lie that contradicts God’s word.

If we do not stay in God’s Word, then we will not recognize the subtleties and the contradictions. We will accept the ideas that are falsely called knowledge.

Test everything to make sure that it is one hundred percent accurate with respect to God’s Word. We must realize that if it is one percent wrong, then it is totally wrong. God does not change. He does not place subtleties and contradictions within His Word to try and trick us. If something does not completely go along with God’s Word, then it is not God’s Word.

Take John 3:16 as an example.

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.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

It would be so easy to change the meaning of this in numerous ways that would still sound almost right.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever knows his name shall not perish but have eternal life.

Close, but no cigar!

Test everything!

God’s Word does not change. We must know it so that we can be prepared to recognize the false knowledge.

I want you to think about this. Is there something that has crept into the church that is close to be God’s Word, but yet is wrong enough to be false knowledge? Are we strong enough in our understanding of true knowledge to recognize false knowledge? Do we know God’s Word well enough to know when lies are being introduced?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you fight the good fight?

May 21, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.
(1 Timothy 1:18-19 (NIV))

Do you fight the good fight?

Do you hold on to your faith no matter what may come your way?

I realize that this is a difficult task to accomplish, especially when the whole world seems to be filled with such bad news. Economic collapse, pirates with speed boats, terrorists, wars and threats of wars are all part of the enemy’s strategy to make you lose focus – to make you lose sight of the one whom you have placed your faith. It is the desire of the enemy to so distract you that you will run aground in the world of sin. He knows that if you take your eyes off of Jesus, that it will be easy to make you lose your course.

What happens if you are driving and you take your eyes off of the road? Now, apply that very same principle to a life in faith. Faith is a long distance journey. Just like on a long distance road trip, a faith journey can find you in times of less focus and perhaps even exhaustion. A life of faith, just like a road trip, will require times when you allow someone else to drive so that you may rest. Just as you feel that the world is beginning to take its toll, completely turn over control to Jesus. He will guide you through whatever you may be facing. Allow Jesus to refresh you and to strengthen your faith. He will always walk with you, but sometimes He will do more if you simply allow it. He will carry you. He will under gird you and lift you up so that you can face whatever the enemy may send your way.

What does a road trip have to do with a shipwreck? What does a shipwreck have to do with fighting? What does fighting have to do with faith? Perhaps it all comes down to a single, yet profoundly simple truth. Do you have the faith and the confidence to trust Jesus in all things? If you do, then He will walk with you in all that you encounter. He will never leave you. The promise made to Joshua still holds true for each of us today.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
(Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV))

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