Is God truly your strength and your portion forever?

May 15, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
(Psalms 73:25-26 (NIV))

I have heard it said that when all else fails, turn to God. Just what type of a faith would you possess if this is how you looked upon God, how you treated God? Should you expect God to be your strength if He was the very last one that you turned to?

At what point do you actually turn to God?

Do you try to accomplish things through your own strength, and when that fails, do you turn to God? Is that how you decide to treat the Creator of all things? Perhaps you actually live out what you profess to believe. If that is true, then do you turn to God in all matters, no matter how small or how big? If you stop to think about how and when you turn to God, you might surprise yourself. You might find that you still try to face this world on your own power and authority, and we all know that none of us possess anything that even resembles power and authority. Placing God first in your life is a simple concept, but it is so difficult to actually accomplish. Human nature makes us place just about anything and everything above God, but when we realize that the psalmist was correct, we take a major step in maturing our faith. We come to the rightful conclusion that there is nothing or no one that is bigger than our God!

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 8:31 (NIV))

Is God truly your strength and your portion forever?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Terror is a tool of the enemy. Ours is prayer!

August 7, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

`But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, then I will do this to you: I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you.
(Leviticus 26:14-17 (NIV))

Terror!

Have we, as the world, gotten to the point where we do not listen to God and do not carry out His commands? We, as a society, definitely seem to abhor God’s laws, especially when we allow same sex marriages and abortion. Is it any wonder that we are facing what we are facing?

How can we turn this nation and this world around?

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14(NIV))

When we turn to God, we are protected. When we turn from God, all things may be turned loose upon us.

We must pray!

Pray for Godly wisdom. Pray for God’s Will to be done. Pray for our nation’s leaders. Pray for our local leaders.

Prayer is a powerful tool. If enough people will pray, God will pour out His power upon our land. This type of prayer calls for more than a simple statement where you ask God to do something and it only takes a few seconds. This type of prayer is a prayer from the heart. It is a prayer from your very soul. Sometimes these types of prayers cannot be put into words. Simply cry out to God in your distress and anguish and He will know your heart.

When your prayers really matter, how will God respond? Will He respond in a manner similar to your few seconds of prayer, or will He respond to the Godly anguish that you feel? After all, God longs for people to be like David who was a man after God’s own heart.

What are you after?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must call upon the name of the Lord at all times!

June 29, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But I call to God,
and the LORD saves me.
(Psalms 55:16 (NIV))

We all face troubles. We all face hardships, trials and tribulations. How you handle these circumstances in your life tells a great deal about who you are.

Where do you turn when you face something so difficult that you cannot handle it on your own? What would you say defines these difficult times? At what point do things become difficult and at what point do things cease being difficult? How quickly can this line be crossed?

I realize that I am asking a lot of questions, but I want you to stop and reflect upon your answers to these questions. What is your “line of demarcation” that you have mentally set as the point where “when the going gets tough, the tough get going?”

Why do we handle difficulties differently than we handle things that go smoothly? Perhaps it is a matter of ego. When things go smoothly, we falsely take the credit for the events in our lives. When things go badly, we often blame others and then we turn and expect others to bail us out of our troubles. Most of the time, the one that we turn to is God.

Why do we only acknowledge God when things are not going as we want them to go? We have a tendency to look upon God as a big life guard who will come to our rescue when we get in over our heads. We only turn to Him we start to sink. Perhaps we should turn to God in the good time so that we can learn to “swim” in the bad.

God is more than willing to teach us how to live our lives according to His Will. It is His plan for our lives that will allow us to truly call upon His name in both good times and in times of trouble.

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
(Psalms 9:9 (NIV))

We must call upon the name of the Lord at all times.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you listen to advice?

May 20, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.
(Proverbs 19:20 (NIV))

Do you listen to advice or do you try to do things on your own?

There is an old saying that says that two heads are better than one. In essence, advice is a wise thing to receive. It often gets you to stop and think things through. It often gets you to look at things from a different perspective. It gets you to slow down before you act without thinking.

Of course, not all advice is good. We must learn to balance where the advice comes from with the credibility of the one giving the advice. In other words, don’t be foolish and accept marriage advice from someone who has never been married. Definitely don’t accept advice about spiritual issues from someone who thinks that each of us is a god. Weigh the credibility and discern which advice to listen to.

Perhaps wisdom comes from being able to discern the fact that you need advice and the ability to discern that not all advice is good. Only one source of advice is completely correct all of the time. That is the source that you should trust implicitly for all of your instruction. Turn to the one who made everything. Turn to the one who wrote the instruction manual. Turn to God and His Word for all of your advice and instruction. Rely on Godly counsel also, but test their counsel to make sure it follows God’s Word.

Wisdom comes slowly. It comes from knowing that you do not know everything. It comes from knowing that other people do not know everything. It comes from realizing that God, who created everything, is the only true source of instruction. It comes from realizing that God is God and we are in need of Him. Rely on God’s Word and wisdom will follow.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Serve the Lord no matter what!

February 6, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
(Acts 20:19-21 (NIV))

The words of Acts are attributed to Luke, the physician. They sound like they could have been written by Paul. Either way, the message is the same. We should take these words to heart when we are facing tests.

We should always strive to serve the Lord in all that we do. We should not alter what we say or how we say it just because we are with different groups of people. Just as faith in Jesus was declared to both Jews and Greeks, we must always declare our faith in Jesus no matter what we face or who we may be with. We must not waiver in our faith. Jesus left us strict guidelines as to how we should always declare Him.

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NIV))

We must always strive to serve the Lord no matter what our circumstances. We do not want to find ourselves being disowned by Jesus because we were too ashamed to call upon His name in certain groups.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email deliveryBe Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews. You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.
(Acts 20:19-21 (NIV))

The words of Acts are attributed to Luke, the physician. They sound like they could have been written by Paul. Either way, the message is the same. We should take these words to heart when we are facing tests.

We should always strive to serve the Lord in all that we do. We should not alter what we say or how we say it just because we are with different groups of people. Just as faith in Jesus was declared to both Jews and Greeks, we must always declare our faith in Jesus no matter what we face or who we may be with. We must not waiver in our faith. Jesus left us strict guidelines as to how we should always declare Him.

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 (NIV))

We must always strive to serve the Lord no matter what our circumstances. We do not want to find ourselves being disowned by Jesus because we were too ashamed to call upon His name in certain groups.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you rebelled against God or against human nature?

December 3, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He said:
“In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From the depths of the grave I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.
(Jonah 2:2 (NIV))

No matter what we face, we can turn to God and He will be there for us!

We must turn to God in earnestly and in a sincere desire to turn from our ways and to turn to Him. We cannot follow both our sinful desires and God’s righteous, perfect plan for our lives. They are paths that lead down opposite directions. One path leads to sin and eternal separation from God. The other path leads to eternal life in God’s presence. It is our choice. The path we choose is of our own making. We can choose to follow our desires and end up in the consequences of our sins, or we can choose to follow God and escape the consequences of our sins.

Either way, we will still sin. The only difference is that, with God, all of our sins will be forgiven. With God, our desires will turn from our sin towards God’s righteousness. When we seek God, He will answer us and guide us. When we stumble is when we do not listen to God.

It is human nature to follow our own desires. It takes a conscious effort to turn and follow God, yet all it takes is a simple plea for God to enter your life through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Have you rebelled against God or against human nature?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Man’s wisdom or God’s wisdom?

November 26, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:3 (NIV))

Do you ever feel like you have the world under your control and everything is going your way?

I didn’t think so!

If you are like everyone else, then you feel the trials and tribulations that this world puts upon each of us. It can weigh us down. It can make us forget that we are God’s children.

At the same time, it can actually lead us closer to God. It is during these times when we tend to turn to God. Perhaps it is during these times when our God shaped holes start to ache for fulfillment, and of course, there is only one source of fulfillment. We realize that we are not the masters of our own lives and that we must turn to the one who is. We turn to God.

In the eyes of the world, this signifies a poor spirit, for we admit that we cannot make it on our own. We need someone bigger than ourselves. According to human society, there is no one bigger than ourselves. Society wants us to think that we are the masters of our own destiny. Society wants us to be proud, perhaps even arrogant. When we are proud and arrogant, we will not turn to God. The kingdom that the proud and arrogant seek is the here and now.

If society says that turning to God is a sign of a poor spirit, then I am glad to claim that banner. However, it takes a strength to turn to God when all around you tempts you to turn away. It is a strength that the world doesn’t understand. It is a strength of free will. We choose to not exalt ourselves and turn to the one who deserves all of the praise. We freely choose what God desires for us instead of what the world desires for us.

Man’s wisdom is contradictory to God’s wisdom. With that in mind, which would you rather be, proud of spirit or poor of spirit? You answer will determine your eternity.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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