Are you enduring and watching?

September 9, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
(Revelation 3:10 (NIV))

Enduring patiently!

In today’s world, those two words seem like an oxymoron. The whole world has endured some very strange things over the last several years. I have lost track of the number of times that I have heard people say that they wish things would return to the way that they used to be, and SOON! For those who wish this to happen, I honestly believe that what we used to know as normal will never return. What we now know is only the beginning, and what is before us is something that we, as believers in Jesus, do not want to see.

I have one very important question for you.

Are you longing to be in the presence of the Lord?

We know that He promised to prepare a place for us and that He will return. We know that those who profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior will be saved from the test that the inhabitants of this earth will face. There is some disagreement on timing, but we know that the Lord will snatch away those who believe in Him so that they do not face the test. That does not simply mean that we go about our lives as if blind to the events in this world, especially when they align with what we have been told in God’s Word. We are to pay attention. We are to watch and be aware. Things are transpiring in what many are saying is a convergence of prophetic events all leading to either being in the presence of the Lord or being left on this world without the Holy Spirit to hold back the enemy.

Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
(Luke 21:36 (NIV))

I find it disheartening that most pastors in the denominational churches are not saying anything about world events. They are not teaching on God’s plans that appear to be unfolding right before our eyes. They are not telling people to watch for the Lord! At best, many are simply doing verse by verse teachings about how to live in this world. Don’t get me wrong. We need to know that, but we also need to know what God has planned. We know what He saw when He looked at the earth’s corruption in Genesis.

God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.
(Genesis 6:12 (NIV))

What does He see when He looks at the earth today?

Are people calling good evil and evil good? Are there wars and rumors of wars? Are there drastic weather issues all around the world? Are there higher prices and shortages? Are there people who openly blaspheme God? Is our corruption equal to or greater than in the days of Noah?

With all of these things, and much, much more, what do you think that God sees when He looks at the earth today?

I don’t profess to know what will happen next. All that I do know, as someone who professes a faith in Jesus, is that I have an assignment to share the Gospel with those who do not know Jesus. I also know that I have a responsibility to keep watch and recognize the signs. I have a responsibility to alert others to what I see. I also know that I may be wrong, but it is better to watch and warn and things not happen than to watch and not warn and things do happen.

We don’t know God’s exact timing, but we must be diligent. We must endure and we must watch in anticipation of meeting Jesus!

Are you enduring and watching?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you persevering under trial?

March 24, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
(James 1:12 (NIV))

I was looking through passages for today’s devotional and this is the first thing that came up as if I was being led to it. I read the passage and I knew that this passage had been the basis of a devotional before. I did a search for it and what I found made me pause. Not only had this passage come to the forefront for today’s devotional, I also found that it had been the subject exactly one year ago today! Then, I was led to ask if you were ready to persevere.

As a believer, I firmly stand on the precept that there are no such things as coincidences. God unfolds, God presents, what He wants us to know when He wants us to know it. With that said, is God telling us to keep persevering through what is currently unfolding and what will be unfolding in this world? I firmly believe that is the case as we see things move from a global pandemic to the threat of nuclear war. We must realize that through all of this, God is still in control. Nothing that is happening is a surprise to our God. He is not panicking, so why should we?

We have been told of wars and rumors of wars. We have been told of nations rising against nations. We have been told of a global “pharmakeia” deception. We have been told all of this and so much more and we are seeing it unfold!

With all that is going on in the world, are you at peace?

“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 don’t know about you, but I plan to keep my eyes focused on the one who told us these things would happen. I plan to keep my eyes focused on Jesus! It is my prayer that I am able to persevere in my faith no matter what trial, no matter what test that I may face. Is this your prayer?

Are you persevering under trial?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready to persevere?

March 24, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because,
(James 1:12a (NIV))

As believers, we are told to stand firm, to hold fast, and to persevere under trial. With everything that is going on in the world, hold fast to what you know to be true! Don’t let the things of this world sway you from your faith. We have been told that there would be trouble in this world that we must go through. We have also been told that Jesus, in whom we have placed our faith, has overcome the world.

“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))

Did you notice the one word at the end of the scripture segment that starts today’s devotional. It is a word that we use all of the time, but we have probably overused it to the point where we no longer truly realize the implications that it contains. We are used to hearing people answer questions with “because” as if it is a reason in and of itself. According to Merriam-Webster, because means “for the reason that” and points you to the reasons for a thought process, a statement, or a fact. In this particular case, it points to what will be the result of persevering under trial.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
(James 1:12 (NIV))

It points to the rewards that will be given for standing firm in our faith and loving the Lord!

Do you love the Lord?

Don’t let the things of this world change that love and that faith. Time is short and we are undergoing trials. Personally, I believe that what we are seeing is only the beginning. Things are ramping up fast. There are many people who study prophecy that have all independently stated that God’s end time plan is unfolding rapidly right before our eyes. If that is the case, we will face more trials.

Are you ready to persevere?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you waiting patiently?

July 31, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NIV))

This passage stirs up controversy!

What do you interpret this passage to be talking about? Do you see this as an indication of what has become known as the Rapture? I realize that some people say that this word is not in this passage and not in the Bible at all. Some believe that the Rapture is a concept that was first introduced only about one hundred years ago. If you look at the original Greek from two thousand years ago, the word that is used is harpazo and it literally means catching away. Still, I understand that many people are leery of believing in something that is not that clearly defined or explained.

I ran across something today that I have read many times over, yet, something clicked today that I had never paid attention to before.

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
(Revelation 3:10 (NIV))

In this letter to the church in Philadelphia, John was instructed to tell them that Jesus knew their deeds were true to the Gospel and that they waited and endured the world while staying focused on Jesus. John also wrote what the reward would be for fulfilling this command. Jesus had John tell them that they would be kept from facing the hour of trial that is coming to the whole earth!

The hour of trial.

The time of trouble.

Tribulation.

All of these speak of the same period of time in God’s plan.

According to what Jesus told John to write, those who patiently endure will not go through this.

Are you waiting patiently?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Is your life built upon the cornerstone?

February 2, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;”
(Psalms 118:22 (NIV))

Have you ever truly stopped to think about the meaning of the word cornerstone? There are a few basic meanings and I honestly believe that they both apply in this passage. One meaning represents a stone that is basically as the word sounds. It is the stone that is used at the corner of a building, but part of that definition also includes the fact that the cornerstone is laid in a formal ceremony. The other definition has the word cornerstone meaning a basic element.

I want you to think about these meanings with respect to Jesus.

When you think of a corner, you get a mental image of a change of direction. John the Baptist called everyone to change direction, only he used the word repent. Jesus offered us a way to repent of our sins by accepting Him as our personal Lord and Savior. God cemented this possibility through a formal event that has captivated millions since the time that it occurred. The trial, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection were orchestrated like clockwork according to God’s plan, according to a ceremony that we still do not fully understand.

Has Jesus allowed you to change direction?

The basic tenet of Christianity is that Jesus is the not a mere man. He is the Son of God! That concept is the basic element of faith in Jesus. Jesus is the basic element of salvation!

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))

The more that I consider the meanings of the word cornerstone, Jesus fulfills all of them. He is the corner upon which we may change direction. He is the cornerstone that was established through God’s formal plan. Jesus is the basic element, the very foundation upon which our faith is built.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
(John 14:6-7 (NIV))

Is your life built upon the cornerstone?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are you walking hand in hand with Jesus through your trials?

October 1, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
(James 1:12 (NIV))

Over the last few years, I have faced situations that at every turn were becoming more and more frustrating. No matter what I did, the situation never would resolve itself in a way that was needed. I found myself in a daze and was not able to function. I found myself simply resigning to what appeared to be the overwhelming obstacles that I faced. I had no idea how to persevere. I had no idea why the situation was presenting itself in the manner that it was. I simply felt like giving up.

Does this sound familiar?

I am sure that all of us have faced similar situations in the past. I am also sure that we will all face similar situations again in the future. These types of situations are the very trials that are written of in James. Satan will find anything and everything that can be used against us in an effort to defeat us.

It is so easy to simply give in, to simply say that we cannot handle the trials. It is at these very moments when we must remember that we are not expected to endure them on our own. We simply need to remember that God is with us. We must remember that we have a brother sitting at the right hand of God who will intervene on our behalf. Jesus will walk with us. In fact, if we have accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, then He always walks with us. It is a matter of our perception that makes us think that He is not with us. It is at these times that we look at our trials through human eyes and not through the promises that we have been given.

These situations can be depressing and overwhelming, but we must remember that we do not have to face them on our own. Jesus is walking with us. Simply stop and take His hand. He will guide you. He will give you peace.

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

Who or what guards you heart in times of trial?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Blessings come in all forms!

January 15, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
(1 Peter 4:12-17 (NIV))

Based on this passage, the people who are teaching a theology of prosperity may need to rethink what they are teaching. Don’t get me wrong. God does want to bless us, but we have also been told that we would have trouble. Jesus did not say that He would remove the trouble. He clearly said that we would have 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))

We, as believers, will face troubles. We will face troubles that other people do not face. We will be persecuted simply because we call upon the name of Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. This type of trouble should be welcome, for if we are ridiculed and persecuted because of the name of Jesus, then we are doing what He has called us to do. We are making ourselves known as members of His Body.

We will be blessed, but the blessings will come if we are willing to bless others. The blessings are not intended for those who simply seek the blessings. Perhaps we should even think of the troubles as a blessing, for they build character and mark us as followers of Jesus.

How are you blessed?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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