We must never forget this!

September 16, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

When you pass through the waters,
     I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
     they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
     you will not be burned;
     the flames will not set you ablaze.
(Isaiah 43:2 (NIV))

Do you ever feel that you are being led down a path and you have to stop and reflect on where you are being led?

For the last several years I have been led to scripture passages that tell us we have nothing to fear as long as we put our faith and trust in the Lord! This all started long before the pandemic. I firmly believe that this is true, and if you profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, I pray that you believe this as well. There is something within me that knows that this world will never return to what we considered to be normal just a few short years ago. We are on a path that was set out before us long ago. This is a path that God has had planned ever since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden. He knew that we had fallen into sin. The Lord knew that we could not save ourselves from the consequences of our sins. He knew that we needed a Savior to step in and fully take the consequences of our sin upon His shoulders. He knew that people would believe in faith. He also knew that the enemy would do all in his power to thwart His plan.

Old Testament prophets knew this. The Disciples knew this. Paul knew this.

Do we, as the modern church, still know this?

There is power in the name of Jesus. A time is coming where at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. Why do we go about our daily lives as if we don’t have a powerful Savior? Why do we go about our daily lives thinking that our salvation is only powerful to save us from hell when we die? Why do we think that we are to have a comfortable life because we have professed a faith in Jesus?

We have been told that calling upon the name of the Lord comes with a cost. We are told that family members will turn against you. We are told that we will face persecution. We are told that we will face trials and troubles because the world hates Jesus.

“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))

What other options do we have? I pray that your answer will be the same as Simon Peter’s when the Disciples were asked if they wanted to leave.

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
(John 6:67-69 (NIV))

We can rest assured that our faith in Jesus is the only thing that will save us in times of trouble, both now and whatever may be coming. Are you fully secure in your faith? Do you know beyond any doubt that the Lord will see you through anything and everything that you may encounter. It is who He is. It is as He has promised.

We must never forget this!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you truly found rest?

September 7, 2022

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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))

Weary and burdened!

Do these two words describe you?

To be honest with you, these two words probably describe the majority of people in the world after living through the events of the last several years. Even if you don’t profess a faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, it is extremely easy to give recognition to the fact that something is not right in the world today. People used to have common sense. Now, common sense is far from common. People used to be able to agree that the principles conveyed in the Ten Commandments were good and true. Now, if you try to say that stealing is wrong or that murder is wrong, you are blatantly told that what you claim to be truth is not the truth for everyone. We used to be able to disagree on things and still be friends. Now, if you disagree with someone, you are cast away and discarded like you were a mortal enemy. If you try to tell someone about Jesus, you are told to “EXPLETIVE”-off. What happened to our society? What happened to our world?

With all of this, it is so easy to become weary and burdened. In fact, most people do not have any idea just how far things will go and what is rapidly coming. To be honest with you, neither do I, but I do have a peace that passes all understanding. I am at rest because I know who holds the future even when the future is so uncertain.

I have placed my faith in Jesus!

He is my rock. He is my fortress. He is my firm foundation. I have placed all faith, hope and trust in Him alone. I have accepted His offer to trade burdens. He has willingly taken my burdens, my sins and my problems, and I have been given His grace and His mercy. I am no longer yoked with the weight of my sins, this world, or the worries of what is to come.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:29-30 (NIV))

I hear news stories of things unfolding. I read accounts of the world’s unrighteousness. I witness firsthand the wars and rumors of wars. I see nations rise against nation. I see all of this and so much more, yet, I still have a peace. Even with all that is going on in the world, I know who wins in the end. I don’t have to worry about tomorrow. I have truly found peace and rest.

Have you truly found rest?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
https://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Where you seek shelter will have eternal consequences!

June 2, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
     will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
     my God, in whom I trust.”
(Psalms 91:1-2 (NIV))

What comes to mind when you think of shelter?

A shelter can be a simple covering that protects you from the elements. It can be your home. It can be someplace that you evacuate to in times of emergencies. It can be a place of rest, and in some cases it can even be a place that you run to for refuge. If that is the case, then it only stands to reason that you would want your place of refuge to be a fortified location where the enemy cannot enter and do any harm.

If you think of a shelter in this manner, does the Lord fit this description? If a shelter is where you reside, does the Lord fit this description?

Life in this sinful, fallen world has gotten so strange lately that the only thing that is certain is uncertainty. Just when you think that you have seen it all, something else comes along to add to the rapidly unfolding chaos. Where do you find shelter when you hear of wars and rumors of wars? Where do you find shelter when common sense is no longer common? Where do you find shelter when supplies are short and prices are high? Where do you find shelter when the world health organization is being given authority over individual nations and their citizens?

Where do you find shelter when all around you is falling apart?

This world is not our home! It is not our shelter, our refuge, nor our fortress. We are not finding rest! We are not finding peace! We must look to the Lord!

“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))

Have you found this peace? Have you found your refuge and your fortress in the Lord?

We know that the Lord uses the stars and planets as signs to mark sacred times. We also know that the Lord uses the Jewish festivals to give us a foreshadowing of the events that they represent. At this moment in history, even the most conservative Biblical scholars are saying that something is going on. As things unfold, are you seeking shelter in the things of this world or are you seeking shelter in the Lord?

Where you seek shelter will have eternal consequences!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We don’t have to sweat the details!

March 4, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
      neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
      so are my ways higher than your ways
      and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV))

Are you confused and stressed out about the events in the world? As the Body of Christ, we know that we should have peace, but at the same time, I am sure that many of us are wondering exactly what is going on. We may not understand it in detail, but rest assured that everything is unfolding just as God desires. It is according to His plan!

We have been given the proverbial highlight reel of His plan so that we would know that He is in control!

We don’t have to sweat the details!

All that we have to do is trust in the Lord and rely on His thoughts and not our thoughts. We are to rely on His ways and not our ways. We are to be in this world but not of it. We are simply passing through as we rely on the Lord for His peace that passes all understanding.

I met a man in the parking lot of a local grocery store tonight. His comments about the price increases and the shortages seemed to consume him. He was worried about the next three years and what we would be facing. I actually had trouble getting in a word, but I did my best to assure him that God is in control. To be honest with you, I am not sure he heard me since he was so consumed by his worry. Sitting here tonight as I write this, I realize that this man represents those in the world who are only looking at the physical. They, like he, see no hope in our current situation. They feel completely helpless, hopeless and lost!

As a believer, do you currently feel helpless, hopeless and lost? Your answer reflects your relationship with the Lord. Do you need to take this time to repent and rely on His grace and mercy? Are you ready for whatever His plan unfolds because you fully trust in the Lord?

I am saddened by the things that I see, for they mean that those who do not know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior do not share in the hope that we have. I am saddened for these individuals because they are on the brink of eternal separation from God. I pray that their eyes would be opened to His grace and mercy. At the same time, I am amazed and I am at peace. I am amazed that I get to live in such a time as this. I am also at peace for I know that my Savior lives!

Have you ever stopped to thank God for His thoughts and His ways? Have you ever stopped to thank Him for loving you enough to send Jesus? He has every single detail of His plan unfolding just as He is orchestrating it. He is in complete control.

We don’t have to sweat the details!

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you have any reason to trust in anything else?

March 3, 2022

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
      but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
(Psalms 20:7 (NIV))

With everything that is going on in the world, do you still trust in the name of the Lord?

Perhaps I should ask that in a different way.

Have the events of the last few years made you trust in the name of the Lord even more?

I realize that the last question may sound odd, but when you consider that things are unfolding exactly like we are told that they would unfold, it should make you trust in Him even more. He even told us that they would happen so that we would believe.

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

When we believe in something, we accept it as true and honest. Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God? When we trust in something, we are assured of the reliability of what we believe. Do you trust in Jesus? Do you believe and do you trust in the name of the Lord to fulfill all that He has promised? With everything that is happening, do you believe? Do you trust?

When all around you is falling apart, keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

When all of the events of the world make you want to cry, keep your eyes focused on Jesus!

Do you have any reason to trust in anything else?

Copyright 1998 – 2022 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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There is absolutely no one like our God!

November 19, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

“There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.”
(1 Samuel 2:2 (NIV))

Where do you place your trust? Perhaps I should ask in whom do you place your trust? Do you trust in a political leader? Do you trust in your boss? Do you trust in your family? I realize that this is going to sound strange, but do you trust in yourself?

There is not a single person in this world who will always do what is right, who will always do what is righteous and holy in the eyes of the Lord. That is why when we were trapped in sin and in need a savior, there was not a single person alive then, or ever, who could live up to the standards that the Lord has set for us. Only He is perfect. Only He is Holy. Only He could save us!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
(John 1:1-5 (NIV))

In order to save us, He had to be above us. He had to be before us, and He had to be like us!

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14 (NIV))

He had to be fully God and fully man. He had to have the power to forgive and He had to have the power to live a sin free life as one of us. There is no one like Him. We have no one else that we can turn to. Nothing can shatter the Rock that is our God. With this in mind, when someone claims to be completely worthy of your trust, turn to the Lord. When someone claims to be infallible, turn to the Lord. When the whole world is falling for a false messiah, turn to the Lord. Never take your eyes off of the Lord!

I love the wording in the Complete Jewish Bible and how it handles the translation from ancient Hebrew to English.

“No one is as holy as Adonai, because there is none to compare with you, no rock like our God.”
‭‭(1 Samuel‬ ‭2:2‬ ‭(CJB‬‬))

No one!

None to compare!

To put it as clearly as possible, there is absolutely no one like our God!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Instead of looking inward, we must look up!

August 19, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
(Proverbs 3:5 (NIV))

Recent events should have me flabbergasted and extremely worried, To be honest with you, there was a time in my life when I would have been beyond worried as I witness and experience the ever increasing uncertainty and evil in this world.

But, now!

But, God!

With all of the events transpiring in the world, I am at peace!

With the never-ending saga of the pandemic, I am at peace!

When the state of the nation and the world seems to be rapidly declining, I am at peace!

When things are on uncertain ground with finances, jobs, health, and whatever else may arise, I am at peace!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
‭‭(Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭(NIV‬‬))

Do you worry? Do you find yourself in situations where you just can’t see any resolution? As prideful humans, we look inward to find solutions. We think that we can fix anything. We think that we are the masters of our own domains and our own destinies. As a result, we worry. We panic. We lash out at those we love, and nothing gets fixed. Nothing we can do will reduce our worry and give us peace. There is an answer! There is a source for true peace. We just need to look in the correct place.

Instead of looking inward, we must look up!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you trust in the Lord?

August 13, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
(Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV))

How true this is!

Our understanding of what happens in this physical world is only a small portion of what really happens. Now, consider that all events in the physical world have a corresponding event or series of events in the spiritual realm, and you soon realize that our understanding is practically nothing.

I once heard a commentary in which T.S. Elliot asked God why his wife had been taken from him in death. God told him that he could explain it to him, but he would not understand it. Think about that in the context of education and comprehension. Can you imagine a nuclear physicist telling an infant how things work at the atomic level. He could explain it all he wants, but the capability to understand is not there. The same is true of how things happen in this world. God could explain them, but we are as infants and lack the capability to understand. We are limited by our current state.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
(1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV))

Consider how an infant must trust his or her parents for everything that they need. When we realize that we are truly infants in the faith and in our understanding, we soon come to the conclusion that all things work together if we simply trust in the Lord.

We must be as infants and trust in God to lead us and guide us in His truth just as an infant loves and trusts their parents. We learn as we go. We take a step and look back to see if God is still there. We take a few more steps and realize that He is walking at our side. We take a few more steps and realize that He is leading and guiding us.

It all starts with trust!

Do you trust in the Lord?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Hope, joy and peace come from trusting the Lord!

July 22, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 15:13 (NIV))

With the current state of the world, we need hope. We need joy, and we need peace!

Can you imagine how people who don’t profess a faith in Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior are coping with what we have been facing? Even members of the Body of Christ can sometimes begin to feel the weight of the world crashing down on us, and we have the hope we have been given through Jesus to cling to! Can you imagine the weight that others are feeling when they have no hope to cling to?

We are all familiar with the often used saying that when things are looking down, look up. To be honest with you, I see more and more people boldly proclaiming their faith through social media than I have ever seen. It may just be the algorithms that are used, but it appears that over fifty percent of what I see is people sharing faith based content. I take this as an indication that people are spending more time in God’s Word and are clinging to the truth that it contains. People are looking up! Or, should I say that they are looking down into the pages of their Bibles? Can we take this as a sign that people are lifting their hearts and their hands to heaven? Can we take this as a sign the people are lifting up prayers to the Lord?

For those of us who cling to the promises that are “yes” in Jesus, we have hope. We have joy, and we have peace. We also have an assignment!

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))

And, the harvest fields are ripe to hear the Gospel!

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
(Isaiah 6:8 (NIV))

There has never been a better time to share the Gospel of Jesus. The time may be short and for those who don’t trust in the Lord, we may be the only people who will share. We must tell them the truth!

Hope, joy and peace come from trusting the Lord!

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Is the Lord truly your refuge?

May 20, 2021

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The Lord is good,
     a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him,
(Nahum 1:7 (NIV))

With the escalation of all that has been happening in the world over the last several years, and especially this last year, have you taken refuge in the Lord?

I find great pleasure in the fact that the Lord is our refuge in times of trouble, especially since we seem to be facing troubles like we have never seen before. Based on Ezekiel, Daniel and Revelation, many people firmly believe that these troubles are just beginning. No matter what we may face in this world, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. We must remember the things that He has told us. We must cling to the promises that He has given us. We must turn our attention away from the troubles of this world and look to the One who created this world and the One who is unfolding His plan to restore this 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))

How is your relationship with the Lord? Do you completely trust in Him? Do you turn to Him in times of trouble? Perhaps I should ask if that is the only time that you turn to the Lord. Do you go about your life with no thought of God until times get bad? Do you only turn to the Lord when you want something or when you need the Lord to rescue you? If this is your idea of a relationship built on trusting the Lord, you may find yourself in for a surprise.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
(Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV))

Do you do the will of the Father? Do you spend enough time with the Father to even know what His will is? Do you spend enough time in His Word to truly know His heart? Do you truly know Jesus as your personal Savior and also as your Lord, for when you call someone Lord, they are in authority over you. When you call someone Lord, you have a responsibility to obey. When you call someone Lord, you can turn to them for refuge and shelter.

Is the Lord truly your refuge?

Copyright 1998 – 2021 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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